It's where I started. I used to go there as a kid, before I could really even handle waves. It is a clean, beautiful, endless beach.

It's where I took my dive class and did my first free dive and where I did my first scuba dive. I spent so much time there, hour after hour body surfing those nasty, throwing breakers and free diving for big Pismo Clams. I occasionally used scuba and far off the sand shore there are some surprisingly robust rocky reefs. The sand was alright though. It is like a desert. There is life there, just not what we are most used to for California diving and you have to look for it. It's very different and interesting. Occasionally though, you'd stumble on a big halibut, Mola Mola or shark and there was no mistaking those from a serious fish. I spent so much time there that I saw many very unexpected things including a critter I don't think is identified. Heck, I met whales there. Oh yah, and jellyfish... So long ago, so many dives, so many reefs, boats and offshore trips. Some serious memories, such as the ocean gives us. I'd been away for long and the last time I was there, it was way too wicked rough to even go in. It's beautiful though. We would dive there on the days when it was too bad elsewhere, because rough or not, the vis would be OK there. That's what I saw first when I got there this time too. That beautiful azure water of a perfect breaking wave.

I needed to get in the water so I packed up the kids and went through the chapparel canyons painted by beautiful yellow flowers from the rains of winter. The rain has also given the giant oak trees a deep glossy green color. It's great for hiking.

You just don't know what you will find as you come over the last hill, but it looked sunny, clear and nice. The turn off curves under PCH and I blasted through the creek for a splash. Parking costs more now, but it was a bit early and I got a great spot sorta close to a shower with a narrower part of the beach to keep the walk short. Yah, I know this place. Zuma has always been here. It was just me that had left.

We unpacked. I didn't used to bring stuff for on the sand, but I do like those covered folding chairs they make these days. The kids had wetsuits and Boogie Boards, but I wanted to free dive. It was the first time I had brought an UW camera here and I wanted to get pics of waves Some of the waves were probably real 4 footers, a bit big for the kids, but it was low tide so after the deep pebbly trench along the shore, it went to knee deep sand out to the breakers. I may have been a bit unfatherly as I took off, but didn't they go to Junior Life Guard Camp last year? They'd be fine.

There was a lot of white water. At first I was getting hit a little, but as I got to the waves, old body memories kicked in and I would just drop flat on my back as a breaker hit. It barely touched me. I did try to remember I was older and not in the same shape. I bet the lifeguards were just thrilled as I was hanging out in the break zone for a bit. I stayed a while trying to get videos of breakers from underneath, but while blue, this is not the vis of tropical waters. Also, my instincts betrayed me and as I would come up behind the wave, I would let them pop me up instead of keeping my camera under the water. I looked over some sand dollars, but didn't see any Pismo Clams where I was. I was looking in the sand for what I think are called Sea Lillies, little, hidden patches of... something. . . that filter the moving water for food. There are always some crabs moving about, but no big ones like you occasionally find. I found schools of perch. It was so cool and comfortable. Occasionally I adjusted my position with our stuff on shore, but I mostly ignored where I was or where the current was taking me. After a while I headed back into the waves, but then looking back I saw porpoises. Cool. So I headed out again. There were a number of them passing by slowly. I got out there, but I think they were just staying past my visibility, because try as I might, I never got to see them underwater. I checked the camera and they weren't there either. It was fun though. . I did end up a bit offshore.

It was time to head on in. I played in the breakers a bit, but I decided to try to video while body surfing in... even though I know better. I held on tight with both hands and still almost swallowed the camera. I relaxed, drifting in. It was so comfortable. Time to video the kids Boogie Boarding in the shallows. They're about the age I was when I first started enjoying this playground. It won't be long... I'm not in shape so I was careful not to way way over do it. It's OK to relax on the beach in a shaded chair and watching... and listening to, the endless dance of the waves as all the pretty ladies walked past on the warm white sand of Zuma Beach. (Good looking guys for the ladies to watch too)

Enjoy the diving seahunt - Diving For The Fun Of It

Joes gets taller everytime you look at him. Marissa was going to go to the Catalina Summer Camp this year, but it will have to be next year. That means she will officially be getting certified. I asked for a picture, but I'm afraid she just aimed a bit low. That's seems to be how it always goes...

One other little thing. If you're seeing this on a Diving BBS, you've probably occasionally heard me rant about studying human morality/survival/genetics. Well, I've been working on a project for a few decades or so about human survival in a changing world. I finally put up the introductry videos at PastToTheFuture.com. I'm hoping that this is an extremely advanced philosophy (or something like it) based on ecology and genetics. It's a very positive view of human potential. If you're interested in it, please check it out and give me an opinion. Far more interesting stuff will follow soon.
Thanks, Mike